Thursday, July 5, 2012

Flat Out Love by Jessica Park

Julie Seagle is excited to be starting her college career in Boston away from her small town Middle America roots. However, she gets scammed out of her off campus apartment through Craig's List. As a last resort, her Mom calls an old college roommate, Erin Watkins who immediately sends her son Matt to her rescue. Erin offers to let Julie live there to solve her housing problem while keeping company with the eccentric youngest daughter Celeste.

This is such a wonderful character driven story. The characters are full dimensional despite the title and will have you falling in love with the family right along side Julie. Matt and Julie have the most excellent dialog that is a cross between nerd speak and academia. I absolutely loved the quirky Celeste who seems to be Asperger's to me. Her biggest quirk, carrying around a life sized color Flat cut-out of her world touring brother Finn. Julie is so accepting and treats Celeste with respect and while she tries to help her fit in, Julie never makes Celeste feel freakish or draws attention to her quirks. She is supportive in a way that I wanted to hire her for my own teenage daughter with autism.

Then there is Finn. Finn is the older brother whose is touring the world by volunteering in exotic locales and helping the impoverished. Finn and Julie begin to chat and post via facebook. Finn is social, witty, and Julie can't help but like him. Finn is sometimes quite the opposite of Matt.

There is a strange love triangle in the book between Finn-Julie-Matt and the crushes they have on each other. I loved both brothers equally and was on the edge of my seat and turning pages long into the night in my urge to know how this would work out. The ending is something I didn't see it coming but it made me swoon and smile to myself in delight.

Flat Out Love is a must read for anyone. The romance will appeal to every fan and the story is about real-life people who on the outside seem to have it all together. But love and friendship emerge when Julie looks deep beneath the surface.

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